This past week my dear friend and fellow blogger Elizabeth turned 30. We celebrated in the city on her actual birthday, but the weekend was a chance to get out of town. On Friday, the birthday girl plus 4 of us headed over Highway 2 to Plain, Washington, somewhere between Lake Wenatchee and Leavenworth. We stayed in one of her friend's cabins- though it was more of a house with 3 bedrooms, a loft turret, tall ceilings, and hot tub. It was a clear day with about a foot of snow in the yard. First things first: we unpacked the car, with every one bringing various food and drinks to pitch in for weekend provisions. D had recently hosted a dinner party and had a lot of leftover cheese, so he brought in a gigantic armload of tupperware full of cheese, imploring us, "We HAVE to eat all this cheese." It was that moment that I knew we were destined to be friends.
While the rest of the crew jumped in the hot tub, Eli and I wanted to play in the snow. We had a blast sledding down the tiny hills in the yard, since after all, beggars cannot be choosers. We wanted to build a snowman, but the snow was too hard and didn't pack well. Then I had the idea to build a cooler for our drinks that didn't fit in the fridge. We were keeping drinks cold by just keeping them outside, but I thought they needed their own area and envisioned a sort of open-walled pedestal. After a few planning meetings, Elizabeth and I came up with this lovely and functional cooler.
R was in charge of dinner, and she made her mom's famous tomato beef soup, complete with homemade pasta noodles and organic canned Amish-raised beef that her mom sends her from the midwest. The soup was soooo good.
On Saturday morning we had a really relaxing time just hanging out- coffee, breakfast, reading on the couch, and funny David Sedaris stories on This American Life. In the late morning, the rest of the guests who couldn't leave town on Friday arrived in 2 carloads. We made lunch and then a group of us headed to Lake Wenatchee state park to go cross country skiing. I have downhill skied and snowshoed, but somehow in my life never have been cross country skiing. It was fun gliding through the woods with awesome ladies and getting used to this new movement. We got out of the trees and were rewarded with a stunning view of the lake.
We also did some real sledding, not the tiny hills of the previous day. I marveled at how the simple, simple act of going down a slippery hill can be fun for humans of all ages.
That night I was on a team dinner duty. K had made pulled pork for tacos and an AMAZING, mostly homemade dark mole. We had all the taco fixings, plus her pickled red onions and my home-canned green tomato salsa.
Then another friend busted out a homemade birthday cake for dessert- tres leches! I know I had tres leches cake in Mexico, but usually from bakeries, and have never had it homemade here in the States. It was innccredddibble. (I got the recipe and am looking for an excuse to make it, so if you want to be my excuse, just let me know!)
So yes, the trip was mostly about eating and playing in the snow, just as an eastern Washington winter cabin weekend should be. Elizabeth and I have known each other since we were 12, but have almost never lived in the same place as adults. I'm so happy I could celebrate 30 with her- Happy Happy Birthday Eli!